Despite my red hair, freckels, and gleaming white skin I am a sun-lover (sun-ophile?). Part of the allure of coming to New Zealand was that I would get four summers in a row due to my niece Tilda's birth and my upcoming graduation from SIT. My tatoo is of a sun and I even briefly thought of changing my name to Sunny (OK, that was a lie). But this weekend I found my limit.
Yesterday our friend Paul brought us to the Tainui Tribal Pride Festival, a Maori music festival. Yes, I was by far the whitest person there. He was hired as a consultant to help them organize their recycling system. He needed on-the-ground help, and offered us free admission to the festival if we helped keep the recycling system up and running all day. If I am a sun-ophile Nelson is surely a recycle-ophile and the offer of spending a day sorting recyclables was too good to pass up.
It turned out to be quite a long hot day of reaching into rubbish bins and recycling bins to pull out rogue items. People were generally pretty good about sorting, but one item kept throwing them off. I must have pulled at least a hundred watermelon rinds out of the recylcing bins. They were being sold cut in half with vanilla ice cream in them. Delicious? yes, recyclable? are you kidding me?
We saw some of our favorite New Zealand bands, learned some new Maori words, helped save the world and got home around midnight. A pretty good day. But, today that viscious orb of death in the sky is wreaking havoc on my internal organs. I suppose, even though I drank gallons of water and put on heaps of sunscreen, I got some kind of sun poisoning. I've been throwing up and fevery all day. Nelson has been a dream, cleaning puke buckets, dragging me into cold showers. Ugh. Finally around 7pm I'm feeling barely alright. Yuck.
5 months ago